7 big questions facing Bears after NFL Draft

Have the Bears done enough to help Justin Fields? A look at that situation and more.

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Bears coach Matt Eberflus talking at a press conference.

Bears coach Matt Eberflus has a far better roster than in his debut season, when the team went 3-14.

Michael Conroy/AP

The Bears went into the offseason with the No. 1 overall draft pick and the most salary-cap space in the NFL. How far did they go with those resources? Here’s a look at where they stand after the draft:

What pick revealed the most about Ryan Poles’ thought process?

South Carolina defensive tackle Zacch Pickens in the third round at No. 64 overall. Pickens is far from polished, but it was evident in Poles’ comments that he’s confident taking hyper-athletic players and trusting his coaching staff to refine them. He also showed how detailed and analytics-driven the personnel department is by pointing out that Pickens’ bone density indicates he can continue to grow.

The Bears’ decision to trade back in Round 1 and draft Darnell Wright was …

Trading back from No. 1 was inevitable, but the Bears took themselves out of range for the top tier of talent. There was a good chance at No. 9 that top-ranked offensive tackle Paris Johnson would be available, but the Cardinals traded up to take him at No. 6. But the Bears were comfortable with that risk and believe Wright can be a pillar of their future.

My favorite pick after Round 1 was ...

Oregon linebacker Noah Sewell in the fifth round at No. 148. One of the first things Bears west coast scout Reese Hicks mentioned about Sewell was his blitzing ability. His versatility as a pass rusher, run stopper and coverage defender give him a chance to have a solid career. And the Bears have a lot of open spots on their depth chart at linebacker.

What need do they still need to address — and how?

The Bears should follow the Ravens’ blueprint and put a mobile quarterback behind Justin Fields. They signed P.J. Walker and added undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent, but neither of them is a runner. Developing a backup quarterback with Fields’ skillset would maintain some consistency if Fields misses any time.

Have the Bears done enough to help Justin Fields?

Yes. It’s not perfect, but it’s enough. He has a viable offensive line for the first time in his career, and this is the best group of wide receivers the Bears have provided him as well. They’ve established a run-heavy offense, which will make things easier for Fields. The most questionable piece is their defense. If Fields spends all season having to throw his way back into games, that’s a tough situation for any quarterback.

The pressure will be on this player …

Wide receiver DJ Moore. Getting him made Poles comfortable with trading all the way back to No. 9. The Bears brought him in to be their No. 1 wide receiver, which is a lot to ask, but he averaged more than 1,000 yards over his first five seasons despite the Panthers’ quarterback problems.

Where do the Bears fit in the NFC North?

One of the best things the Bears have going for them this season is their division is manageable. Aaron Rodgers is gone, the Vikings had a negative point differential last season and the Lions are unconvincing. If Fields takes a big step forward, the Bears will be competitive in the division.

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